New opportunities to ‘share’ volunteer roles will help charity reach more children who struggle with reading 4 May 2018 A national reading charity has introduced a new ‘volunteer share’ opportunity across the London boroughs to enable more people to take part in its reading programme. The initiative will help the charity support more primary school children needing extra one-to-one support, while providing flexibility to people who may not have been able to commit to volunteering before. Beanstalk recruits, trains and supports volunteers to work in local primary schools with children who have either fallen behind with their reading, lack confidence, or struggle with their fluency, comprehension or vocabulary. Each volunteers traditionally spends 30 minutes one-to-one with three children twice a week at a local primary school (three hours in total), reading books together and playing word games to develop reading enjoyment and confidence. With low levels of literacy continuing to be a problem and an urgent need for more volunteers across London, the charity is offering an opportunity to ‘buddy’ with a friend of theirs, with each volunteer doing one session a week (one and a half hours) but both supporting the same three children. Lindsay Fox is the Area Manager for Beanstalk in London: “At Beanstalk we understand the importance and increasing demand for flexible volunteering roles that people can fit around their busy lives. So many people we meet want to get involved in helping children to read in schools but find it too difficult to commit to the two sessions a week which the children need. By offering a ‘buddy‘ system, the children get the same level of consistent regular reading support from trained volunteers, but from two people instead of one. “We hope that this really helps us reach more children and in turn enables more people who want to make a difference within their communities get involved. If you would like to find out about sharing a volunteering role with someone who you know, we would really love to hear from you, please get in touch!” For more information or to apply, please visit the website at www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk or call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0307. Please mention on your application whether you are specifically interested in ‘buddying’ up.